Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, each with their own unique character and rich traditions. Tucked between Waverly and the Homewood campus, you’ll find the tight-knit, family-friendly community of Abell. For the past year and a half, I’ve had the privilege of being an Abell resident and participating in several of the neighborhood’s fun traditions, like the summer Porch Prom and the Abell Community Street Fair.
On Sept. 18, the Abell Improvement Association hosted its annual street fair on the blocks around Peabody Heights Brewery. The event itself was free, though there were tons of vendors offering local goods, food and drink for purchase. I attended with my brother and boyfriend, but it’s also a great excuse to drag your friends out of Brody.
As we walked up Barclay Street, we stopped to check out the wares of various vendors who dotted the sidewalk. We noticed some familiar faces from years prior, including an artist we bought a poster from last year and a neighbor selling some of her impressive plant collection.
Stands offered products from ceramics and pottery to wall art, clothing, coffee and food. There was even a community bake sale offering sweet treats made by locals, and free craft stations set up along 30th Street. We passed by chalk and coloring page stations before stopping to feel the textured, patterned fabrics at a hat making tent. We weren't in the mood to day-drink, but Peabody Heights had live music, which we could hear from outside.
After perusing the vendors, we decided to check out the silent auction. Inspired by the thrill of the game, we placed bids on a few offerings, including a shiatsu massage, a gift card to Get Shredded Vintage and an antique wooden leather briefcase. I regret to inform you that we were not the winners of any of these, but it was still fun to check out all the different items and participate in the bidding process.
Across from the auction, the alley between The Book Thing and Peabody Heights was calling our names. Fragrant food options lined the street, including, of course, a Halal truck. My brother tried a barbecue platter and I had the most refreshing half-and-half at the soul food stand, while my boyfriend got a Mediterranean sampler from the tent next door. Everything tasted fresh and delicious, and we were glad to not have to cook lunch.
For dessert, we hit the popsicle stand. Between the three of us, we tried ginger pineapple lemonade, cranberry pineapple and sweet potato pie. Though all three were tasty, the ginger pineapple lemonade was my favorite for the balance of pungent ginger and sweet pineapple. These frozen treats hit the spot on a hot afternoon.
Full of food and sugar, we made our way back down Barclay Street, though of course not before I stopped to add another plant to my already-significant collection. There were so many to choose from, but I ended up going with a really large, beefy succulent that only cost $4.
The event captured the feeling of Abell — a warm, welcoming residential community — and was a nice change of pace from campus life. If you missed out this year, don't worry because the Abell Community Street Fair is an annual event!